Google Fit Adds Home Screen Widgets and Other Updates

Google Fit, the activity tracking app that uses the GPS and accelerators in your Android Phone, has been updated with a raft of new features and functionality.  Chief amongst those updates is a new Home Screen Widget where you can quickly see your progress towards your daily fitness goals. The latest update is build 1.52.44-000 for those keeping score at home and it is certainly worth the update for those who use or are considering using the app.  If you aren’t familiar with it, Google Fit allows you to easily and accurately (especially with this update) track your steps, miles you have walked or run along with other activities which you can select to keep track of your activity levels.  While it isn’t going to give you the granular detail of say a Fitbit or Up!, it is certainly a great and free way to track your activity levels for a healthier lifestyle.

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While I’m a dedicated Fitbit user, Google Fit is certainly making strides when it comes to be a solid activity tracker.  This update has significantly improved the accuracy of the app over the previous version.  The key to making the app work of course is that your phone has to be on you at all times.  Previously I had big discrepancies if I held the phone in my hand versus having it in my pocket compared to my Fitbit.  Those issues seem to have been resolved and Google Fit seems far more accurate in tracking my steps regardless of where the phone is on my person.

For those how have been using Google Fit, the new Home Screen Widget will be a welcome addition for you.  No longer do you have to open up the app to see home many minutes you have walked

Google Fit for Android
Google Fit for Android

versus your goal.  The widget is a nice big dial-style that updates in the background as you take steps.  While there is only one widget and it isn’t customizable, it is a start and certainly better than not having on at all like previous builds.

Here is a rundown of all of the updates and changes in this release of Google Fit from the Release Notes:

  • All day, effortless tracking of distance and calories burned
  • Home screen widget
  • Weekly and monthly summary views
  • Choose your favorite activities
  • Android Wear watch face
  • Bug fixes and syncing improvements

If you are looking for an easy and very cost effective way to track your activities, take a look at Google Fit.  The price is great (free) and it is a great option if budgets are tight or you are just not sure about this whole tracking your activities thing.

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